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Buick Enclave Owners Give Us Your Report

steverstever Posts: 52,683
Got a new Enclave? Please tell us about it.


  • music287music287 Posts: 116
    We've owned 5 Chrysler minivans,the last two awd versions. Since they stopped offering the awd option we had to look elsewhere. The Toyota minivan was interesting but the run-flat tires made it a non-starter for us. When my wife saw the Enclave concept at the 2006 auto show she immediately wanted it...a good thing. As we began exploring the various cuv offerings we were able to eliminate other choices. The Enclave had: three comfortable rows of seats, ample storage behind the third row, hid xenon headlights, use of RUG, complete safety features, and, that "X" factor: a look we liked.

    Since I broke the engine in according to the manual, i.e. <56 mph for 500 miles (and got 26 mpg!) I've been running it as we usually drive. At a steady 72 mph we got 22.1 mpg on a 90 degree day. I'm happy with the mileage.

    The car was delivered in perfect condition and, as of the first 1100 miles, nothing has gone wrong. I'm particularly pleased with the OnStar turn-by-turn service. IMHO, it takes the place of the expensive nav system. We also opted for the $411 delete option bench seat in the 2nd row. That seat, in addition to providing another passenger position is just as comfortable as the captain's chairs. (Some people have said the middle position isn't comfortable though that isn't my experience.) It was great being able to listen to our beloved Tribe beat the Braves via the XM radio!

    Finally, our (sold) 1998 Chrysler T&C awd minivan was more or less the same price we paid for our mostly loaded awd CXL Enclave. That's nine years ago!

    We are, in a word, pleased with our purchase. :D

  • I am 3 weeks into an Enclave and absolutely love it. First let me say I have a new car addiction. I have had 15 new cars in 15 years between myself and my wife. I just traded a 2005 dodge magnum RT AWD for the Buick. I loved my magnum, but we were at a point where we wanted to be able to carry 7 passengers. I used Edmunds to help with my purchase negotiations as I have done with most of my vehicles. Even though the Enclave was brand new the dealer gave me $200 over invoice and then I got a $1000 GM conquest rebate for switching from a non-GM vehicle. I will say we live in a small town and the dealer is very reputable and is committed to building long term relationships. My encalve is the CXL AWD with the luxury and driver confidence packages, 19" wheels, CD changer and dual sunroofs. We added an aftermarket 12" DVD player. The interior is whisper quiet when driving and actually makes me feel relaxed while on the road. The bose stereo is the best factory sound system I have heard. The seating is spacious like a minivan, but wrapped in a beautiful SUV/crossover shell. I have achieved 25.5 mpg on the highway already with normal driving in the mid-teens. My initial complaints are limited. The gm/ford engineered six speed transmission does seem to be out of sorts at times in finding the right gear. If anything it seems to hold a gear too long before downshifting for more responsive driving. This can be mitigated somewhat by switching to manual mode and selecting gears with the buttons on the gear shift. I also think I may have a few tiny typical american built squeaks/rattles. The jury is still out on this one and they only seem to happen intermittently on truly bad roads. If I pinpoint anything I will bring it back to the dealer for a look. My last little nit pick is dual clocks. I love the beautifully crafted analog clock on the dash. It glows handsomely during night time driving. The only draw back is that you can't turn off the digital clock on the stereo. It may seem like a very minor complaint, but wouldn't it also have been a very minor fix for GM engineers to find a way to turn off the digital clock? More focus groups less design in a vacuum maybe? My overall rating is this is probably the best vehicle I've ever owned.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    There is supposedly a software recalibration for the transmission that is nearly available. I hear that it will address the concerns some owners have over shifting patterns.
  • grd398sgrd398s Posts: 15
    I ordered my Enclave last week (CXL FWD), and I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival so I can fully participate in this discussion. In the meantime, I look forward to reading the postings and learning what to watch for when mine arrives. I was told 8-10 weeks by the dealer...can anybody that's ordered one confirm that timing?

    I'm a late-20's guy that is having a hard time accepting the fact that I just bought a BUICK! However this vehicle just has a wow-factor inside and out. My friends can laugh at me between now and the day the car arrives...I have a feeling the teasing will stop once they experience it. To me, it easily beat-out every other SUV and CUV on the market. It's got the interior of a Lexus, the exterior of an Audi, and the quiet smooth ride that is classic Buick. If this is the new face of Buick, I'll no doubt become proud to own one.
  • bernhbernh Posts: 7
    I am going to be purchasing an Enclave in the next week however, we are debating on whether to also purchase an aftermarket DVD player because we thought the one they offered may be too small for the third row. I noticed you bought a 12". I looked at a 12.1 jensen on circuit city website but it said it wouldn't fit in the enclave. May I ask what brand you bought and where you purchased it. If this Jensen would really fit it would solve out decision making. One more thing did you get the sunroof. We did want the sunroof, noticed GMC installs an overhead DVD player with the sunroofs. Was wondering if it would be a problem installing it after market. :shades:
  • The brand is Directed Video, model OHD1202. It is an all in one system meaning the dvd pops into the unit where the screen flips down. It came with two wireless headphones and automatically broadcasts the sound to FM 87.9. The screen also swivels 180 degrees so you can see what you are setting up for the kids. The aftermarket place we went to installed it between the dual sunroofs right where the map lights were on the ceiling and where the factory DVD would go. We did lose the map light unit, but we don't mind. Total cost installed was exactly $1000. As an FYI, I've read the other drawback to the factory DVD option is that once you are playing a DVD in the head unit, the front passengers cannot listen to something else even if the kids are wearing the wireless headphones.
  • You shouldn't feel funny about it. This sure isn't the ole man's buick. I'm 38 and absolutely have to drive a vehicle that feels cool. This is probably the coolest ride I've owned. I owned a liquid copper colored 2003 Infiniti FX45 for awhile and I thought that was a hot ride. I feel the same way when I hop in my Enclave. All my friends became speechless when they checked it out. I'm sure your friends will too.
  • bernhbernh Posts: 7
    Thank you soooo much for the information, you have helped out alot. Me and my husband have been going crazy deciding on this for the past few days. Bt you have really helped. Thanks again. :shades:
  • msindallasmsindallas Posts: 190
    May I ask which company installed the DVD? I went to Circuit City, and they said "If you want to get DVD installed by us, buy a car/van without a sunroof".
  • It was a local outfit, Woody's Car Stereo and Accessories. The Buick dealer uses them for all of their aftermarket DVD installs. You will probably have better luck with a retailer that only does car audio and video. If you go back to circuit city let them know there is a factory DVD available from GM so there must be a mounting mechanism and pre wire under the headliner already.
  • fenwahfenwah Posts: 58
    Do you get the 5.1 surround sound on your Directed Video DVD. I too would like the larger screen...but don't want to lose the surround sound that accompanies the Buick's DVD player. Also, if you have the time, would you please post some pictures of your DVD player? You could try posting them on, or on another web site. I am really interested in doing this as well...and would really like to see a finished product. Thanks.

    ***** Well, I answered my own question. You don't get the 5.1 surround sound UNLESS you opt for the DVD player w/ 8" screen. That's a tough choice...larger screen...or surround sound? *****
  • I will post some pics, but you can also see the unit itself on I'm not sure you would have to lose the 5.1. The directed video unit is actually a monitor with a self contained DVD unit that is removable from the screen system. It can be taken inside and powered by a wall outlet and plugged into a regular TV video and audio input to watch DVDs. The 12 inch screen unit does have an aux video input. Your installer may be able to use the GM factory video feed which powered the original 8 inch unit and use it in the aux video in of the 12inch unit. You may be able to have the best of both worlds which would be to play DVDs in your head unit in 5.1 sound or put DVDs in the 12 inch unit itself. Check the website and find a dealer in your area to call. I see they also have 15 and 17 inch units. Now that is big, but they may not fit between dual sunroofs.
  • brucenycbrucenyc Posts: 15
    I was told the same thing and just got very lucky and stop by a dealer that just got one in exactly how I wanted...Loaded
  • brucenycbrucenyc Posts: 15
    My wife's lease came up on our expedition and wanted something smaller but not too small for the family. We ordered an Acadia. The thought of driving a buick was out of the question,until my wife saw one at the dealer. I have an 07 audi A6 which I love to drive until we got the Enclave. Don't expect performance,but man is it comfortable.Just spent 2 hours in traffic with my snob friends and they were amazed,It is one comfortable ride! I like the Nav system better and the onstar is great for my wife who's technologicly chalenged. Always drove black but we got the red this time,its a real head turner. I'm proud to pull up anywhere in this great looking vehicle.
  • jeanb1jeanb1 Posts: 2
    Good luck....I ordered mine on April 9th and as of today, July 3, I AM STILL WAITING WITH NO END IN SIGHT!!!

    If this car wasn't so awesome, I would just try something else but after checking Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna, Jeep Cheroke, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9....also the GM Acadia and Saturn Outlook......I still want the Buick Enclave, hopefully in this century!

    I hope that some of the summer is still here and that my trade in doesn't lose more value while I wait for annnny day now!
  • kl39kl39 Posts: 2
    I ordered mine on March 30th and was told 2 weeks ago that it wasn't even made yet. They only made about 75 with the luxury package and my order was not part of the first 75. There was an issue with the telescopic steering wheel. So I have been searching for one all over the country. I finally found a loaded one in Mass which had everything that I had originally ordered. Of course the price is higher, since they would not honor my original agreement.
  • docrwdocrw Posts: 94
    Why don't you get your dealer to do a swap with the dealer in MA. That way they can still have your business and sell the car you ordered, or use that as the swap, when it gets in.
  • kl39kl39 Posts: 2
    If it were only that easy. The dealer in MA was not willing to swap. It was the only Enclave they had and weren't willing to work with my dealer. I ended up canceling my original order, since they had no idea when it would be made. Hopefully you did not order the luxury package. It is on hold.
  • I just took delivery July 20. It is a great vehicle, but the thing that I use a lot on a car is poorly enginered. The flash to pass stalk can only be used when the light switch is in the manuel mode. I leave the switch in auto. mode all the time, but by doing so the flash to pass cannot be used. This might seem to be a minor annoyance to most people, but I use this feature all the time. The way it is now it is very difficult to use during the day. Anybody have any suggestions?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "The Enclave is also a pretty handsome car, as you can see. We got several admiring looks and I think that this vehicle will do a lot to improve Buick's stodgy image. Stay tuned for a full road test ... in a couple of weeks."

    2008 Buick Enclave -- A World Unto Itself?

  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Just a couple of questions for those who actually have Enclaves...

    Are the window sills on the front doors high like they are on, say, the newer Chrysler 300? In other words, does it seem you sit a little lower in relation to the window sills? Can you rest your arm on the window sill without having to raise it above your shoulder?

    Also, what is the width of the storage area in the back? Can you fit a 4-foot wide piece of plywood in the opening?
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Also, what is the width of the storage area in the back? Can you fit a 4-foot wide piece of plywood in the opening?

    Nope. The Enclave is not wide enough to accept a sheet of plywood. I am told that the Acadia can however. The Enclave is more curvacious than the Acadia.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    I finally looked over the Enclave yesterday. Nice, but a couple of issues for us... Front passenger seat is not fully adjustable as is the driver, seat bottom is not adjustible for height or slope so not as comfortable on long trips.

    Rear hatch opening...I know the plywood will not fit, but I even have doubts that golf clubs will fit with the third row up. There was something on the driver side sticking into the opening making it even narrower. I'll have to look at the Outlook and Acadia to see how they compare.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I can tell you that I was surprised that my golf clubs will NOT fit width wise in the back of the Enclave. This disappoints me but we still love the vehicle. It is my wife's vehicle. If it were mine, I would be more disappointed since I leave my clubs in my car frequently.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    You might be able to lean one bag/set up in there. Except for that it looks a if 2-3 good size golf bags would fit behind the 3rd row if the width was there. Kind of disappointed in clubs (45.5" driver) will fit widthwise in my old '00 Trooper. If I get in the market to replace the trooper, I'll definitely measure to make sure they fit. In fact, we just went to the Gulf coast last week in the wife's '04 Envoy XL and my light bag with 45.5" driver fit widthwise in that. I'll be checking the Enclave maybe this afternoon when I drop off the Envoy for SES light and to get the ON-STAR digital upgrade if I have time.

    thanks for the info
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I have a "standard" length driver. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I don't know how long that is. The driver is the only club that does not fit in our Enclave. My next longest club is a 7 wood and that fits fine.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Thank you for your replies to my original question. I, too, am a golfer and it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to fit my clubs back there. I certainly carry golf clubs much more often than plywood or sheetrock, so this is definitely a deal breaker for me.

    No one said anything about the window sill height, but it doesn't matter now. For what it's worth, I'm not a big fan of the new style doors with narrow windows; much prefer the lower sill and taller windows. Look what they did to the 2008 Saturn Vue. But that's just me. I guess there must have been a lot of people telling the auto makers they like them.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    I did not get to check out the Acadia at the GMC/Buick dealer yesterday afternoon when I dropped off the Envoy for ride got there too quick. Will probably get to nose around a little this afternoon when I pick it up.

    I sat in the Enclave Sunday and did not get the impression of high, narrow windows, but if I have time will check it out this afternoon.

    Golf clubs pretty much stay in my vehicle. Older drivers, say in the early 1990's were about 43.5". Now most are 45"-45.5" standard off the rack. Add a little for headcover and base of bag and you would pretty much need around 46" to fit. If you pull the driver out of the bag and are able to lay it at a little bit of an angle, might get away with somewhere between 44" & 45". Would be a pain, but I seem to remember whatever that was on the driver side that intruded into that space was 4-6 inches into the opening. I'll check today if I get a chance, both the Enclave and Acadia.
  • hondafordhondaford Posts: 51
    I have a pilot and use the nav extensively to find what motels are in "X" town we are approaching. It gives me the tel# and I call, check amenities, availability etc. I know onstar direction service will guide me to an address, and maybe the concierge will get me a motel reservation in the town I expect to reach that night, but can I get several phone#'s to check on my needs?
    I like the idea of onstar, but am not sure it will fulfill my needs in this area. Experiences?
  • lwolf99lwolf99 Posts: 80
    >>> Are the window sills on the front doors high like they are on, say, the newer Chrysler 300? In other words, does it seem you sit a little lower in relation to the window sills?

    I got my Enclave CXL AWD on June 30th. I can tell you that the window sills are definately higher than past vehicles, especially compared to my 01 Town & Country minivan. There was a lot more window view in that vehicle. I am 5'11". And it is a little uncomfotable to rest my left elbow on the sill as I drive. It seems this is the new style, as it is common in a lot of new vehicles.

    On a seperate note, I do have to say that I love the vehicle. It does not have a lot of "pickup" when pulling out onto the highway, but other than that, I have no major complaints. It rides great and looks sharp. I have received a lot of compliments on its looks. It drives soooo much nicer than my old minivan. All of the "toys" are very nice to have. If I had one wish, it would be for them to add bluetooth.
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